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Blood drive turnout was a let down

I am disappointed. For weeks, if not months, talks and plans were made of having a blood drive to show that our community cares and has a great heart.

Today, I don’t know that this holds truth. I had a very busy morning. Started off by registering my son for high school, dropped him off for Saturday academy, dashed to my other son’s semi-final soccer game, then sped over to a Home Buyer Workshop which ended at 1:30 p.m.

I thought to myself, “Do I have enough time to head over to Ford City Mall for the blood drive which ends at 2 p.m.? Will the lines be long? Should I have pre-registered?” Since my son had expressed interest in donating blood, I picked him up on the way to the mall.

We walked into the donation bus at 1:45 p.m. No line. No wait. “Phew!” I thought. We made it! Unfortunately, my son was unable to donate blood at his current age of 14. He will, however, be able to donate when he turns 16, with parental consent. But kudos to this amazing kid who is already showing his humanitarian side!

As my vitals were being taken, I started small talk with the tech. I asked if they had a great turnout, as I was so certain they would have. “No” was his response. “No?” I asked. How many people came out was my next question. Three. Three?! This just couldn’t be! Was it three before me, or am I number three? Yep, I was number three.

I felt ashamed! Embarrassed! Let down! As I’m processing the reality and my feelings, another donor stopped by. Four donations. All women, if I may add. How fitting since it’s Women’s History Month. The blood drive was set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and only four donors came by.

Let us put things into perspective here. I asked how many donors came out on average for a blood drive. On average, 50. On a good day, 80. On a bad day, 30. Wow!

I know we live in a busy, fast-paced world, but we need to be less egocentric. Part of me still believes, still wants to believe that we all genuinely have good intentions for others. Will you try today? Will you seek opportunities to help others today? Whether it’s holding a door open for the person behind you or helping someone with a heavy package. By being more compassionate and more forgiving. But also by being welcoming and accepting. They say chivalry has been lost and I believe it is mostly because it has been rejected and often confused as an act of flirtation. When someone gives you something, accept it. A smile, a compliment, an offer to help. Then go out and reciprocate.

On to some local happenings. As you read in last week’s edition of the Greater Southwest News-Herald, Ford City Mall is now for sale. This got me thinking– what would be a great replacement for the property? I think a water park would be phenomenal! An indoor soccer facility is another idea. Some neighbors have already voiced their thoughts: YMCA, recreation center, and some sort of party venue. What would you like to see in that area?

Another store is closing in the neighborhood. CVS on 84th and Pulaski is also scheduled to close sometime in April. What is going on?

Ashburn Community Elementary School recently had a career day. The Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is having a meeting on March 19 at 5 p.m. All parents are invited to attend and participate.

If you haven’t yet purchased your tickets for the St. Patrick & St. Joseph Dinner Dance at St. Thomas More Parish, you still have time! The event is tomorrow, March 16. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Come out and enjoy an Irish and Italian buffet dinner, some entertainment and raffles. A cash bar will be available. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door for $30. Feel free to bring the entire family. Children 10 and under are admitted free of charge. For additional information, please call the rectory office at (773) 436-4444.

St. Bede School is having a Tailgate Trivia Night on Saturday, March 30. Cost is $100 per team with a maximum of 10 adults per team. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the games begin at 7:30 p.m. This is an adults-only event. To secure your spot, you can go to the school or the rectory.

As spring approaches and thoughts of summer are nearby, here is something to look forward to: Taste of Ashburn is coming! The event will take place at Bogan Park and will run from Aug. 23-25. The search is on for sponsors, musicians and DJs. If you are interested in possibly sponsoring or participating, please email [email protected]

Happy Birthday to Gerardo (March 18) and Alma Rosa (March 19)!

Remember, if you’d like to submit any birthdays, wedding anniversaries, engagements, or any special achievements, email me at [email protected] and I will do my best to squeeze you in my next column. FYI, I submit my column a week before it comes out so please give me more than a week to get it in.

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